They work long hours and late nights in an unruly city that never sleeps--- and within concrete walls and dark alleyways, therein lies a mystery. With atleast a dozen disappearances and odd sightings in the mist, they are told to keep calm but stay cautious. "Don't talk to strangers. Don't help anyone. Don't walk into danger." Even if it has sweet words and round doe eyes, and takes the form of a soft silhouette. Perhaps, Ume Wataru was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or perhaps, there is more.
Catching the thug by his shoulder and forcing him forward, Ryuji hooked his leg around his, throwing the goon face first on to the cold, wet pavement. Noctis had strict club rules-- One of them being that regular patrons weren't allowed to touch the show girls. You had to pay for that privilege, but someone wasn't listening, and that someone was now eating a mouthful of cement. Anyone caught violating the rules was introduced to Ryuji-- The newest, and most ferocious, bouncer.
"You son of a--" Slowly stumbling back on to his feet, the thug was now brandishing a switchblade, holding it in two, shaking hands. "I'll tear you apar--" Before he could even lunge forward, Ryuji had caught the thug's wrist, twisting and hoisting. Ryuji tilted his head some-- It really wasn't a smart move on his part, trying to step to him. It was amusing, enough to put a little smirk on Ryuji's face. "Huh? What's wrong?" Ryuji asked, pursing his lips some. Leaning his head back, Ryuji rocketed forward with a headbutt, knocking the punk once more to the ground. "Don't bother getting up." Ryuji warned, grinding his sole onto the punk's chest some to really drive the message home.
Don't break the rules.
"He didn't give you too much trouble, did he?"
"Right, right. Well. . . Maria's going home early, but she wanted to say thanks."
By now, most of the patrons had cleared out, and Kunimaru, the bartender, was idly cleaning the glasses. She was the one who had hired Ryuji, after he had started and broke up a fight at a party she was catering, dislocating someone's shoulders and tossing them like tissue paper.
Ryuji didn't respond, only nodding his head slightly as he sat at the bar, enjoying a complimentary drink. They were always on Kuni's tab. "Well, I should get going." Finishing his drink and turning, there was someone waiting at the entrance greeting him, standing straight and staring forward. She looked out of place, like this was her first time here. "Oi, place is closed." Ryuji waved. "Ya' gonna stand there all day, or do I gotta escort ya' out?"
Hello~ thanks so much for accepting the add! Whenever you've got the time I would absolutely love to discuss story or just jump into one. Either way I hope your day is going well and look forward to talking with you.
Spike leaned against the rusted metal of his mono-racer, well out of commotion's way and about to start smoking through the filter of his last cigarette. Being out of smokes was his cue to ditch any occasion. Lady luck sure had a personal vengeance on his ass. The bounty hunter had thrown on a pair of Lennon-style specs that were evidently more suited for function than style. The shades were good for zooming in on targets from long distance posts and for facial recognition, particularly useful in verifying bounty heads post plastic surgery. Spike took a lazy drag and spied. Building's main entrance was blockaded by guards and police cars. No one was getting in unless they belonged there. The immediate vicinity was littered with news trucks and other mono-ships: all the folks pining for a prize of one kind or another. What a load of rat crap.
The bounty hunter's peripherals catch on to a tousle while he zooms out of focus from the main building. Attention shifted, his binocular vision redirects to get a better view of a sort of …kidnapping? You've gotta be kidding. Here? No way someone'd risk it with the hoard of cops around. Unless these little turds were in on something.
Spike spat out his spent cig and sighed. Might be worth the trouble, might not. His stomach growled as an instigator. These guys looked like the smallest of the small fries. It's a good thing lady luck held a knack for being fickle - better to take a chance, so his stomach said.
Your typical suspicious white van in an alleyway. These guys really lacked innovation. Spike casually sauntered straight up to the guy standing guard post, a denim wearing hood rat type.
"Yo. Gotta smoke?" Spike sported an easy-going smirk, his counterpart responding with a scowl.
"Beat it, pal. I don't got no smokes and you don't got no reason to be pokin' your ass where it don't belong. Got it?"
Spike remained all cases of laid back. "Ah, c'mon. Don't be stingy now."
"You deaf or what, sh*thead?" The thug dug within his jean jacket to showcase the edge of his holster. Spike's smirk widened. It'd been a while since he'd ruffled some feathers and engaged in some hearty combat. He was almost starting to look forward to this little side quest. His rival seemed well out of patience, gripping his gun for ready fire. So be it. "Alright, asshole, I said--" The hoodrat's idle threat was cut off by the heel of Spike's boot ramming into his midsection and knocking the wind out of him. Guy went down far too easy - no fun there.
Dudes inside well-alerted of incoming trouble, one prods the left back door open and pokes his head and gun out. His eyes meet the fetal hunch of his wiped-out comrade and then dart around for the culprit - that's when Spike's boot makes a reprise. He'd hiked up the top of the van and waited for his opponent's head to poke out to make his move. Brandishing his semi-automatic pistol by now, Spike hops down from his momentary elevation into action. Bulky guy with a scruffy beard's bleeding from his nostril thanks to Spike's introductory kick. He's accompanied by a pissed off blonde dude with a band aid across his cheek and a dark-haired lady tied to a chair. Huh.. Spike could've sworn he'd seen her around somewhere before, but this was no time to be playing guess who.
"F***in' bastard. Who the hell do you think you are?" Scruff-face growls through the wrist he's got pinned against his nose to stop the bleeding. His blonde-boy partner aims for the middle of Spike's face and scoffs.
"Chopped liver, that's what you are." The blonde guy grins ear to ear, finger pressed against the gun trigger. Meanwhile, a neighboring explosion reverberates and shakes the ground beneath them all. An explosion thatbig had to be coming from the bank. Looks like this Onryo bounty might've found a way to strike. Luck was a fickle lady after all.
❝ --- "Right. . ." Akira was. . . Unsure of what to say, to put it lightly. He felt better, hearing Ume's words, though and so he hoped he could steal some of her confidence for this conference. Taking a deep breath, Akira parted through the conference, entering stage left.
The thunderous applause didn't really faze Akira-- The book on the podium, bearing the name Fudo, however, did. It left him speechless, mouth hanging open-- There was a ringing in his ears, coupled with the applause of the crowd, Akira was feeling more and more lost.
Then, there was a snapping-- No, clapping, but much closer. It was the event host, a suited individual-- A representative from Sector 1. He stuck out his hand, said some words that Akira couldn't quite hear, but he shook his hand regardless.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Fudo." The man said. He must've said his name somewhere, but Akira hadn't heard it, his mind having focused on the book in his hands. "Why don't you tell us about that book there?"
Akira understood that much. He still wasn't any good at these sorts of speeches-- But he could try, at least. Looking out among the crowd, Akira squinted, before seeing Ume, giving him an encouraging smile.
"It's. . . I was approached by a reporter. That's how it started. She had a proposition for me, and I accepted. She needed my help, and so I helped. Were it not for her. . . I wouldn't be standing here. She's the one responsible."
❝ --- “Yeah, super cute.” Akira said cheerfully, giving her a faint smile. “I just hope you weren’t planning on vacationing in Canada. If I can convince Miki. . . I’d like to go to somewhere in the British Columbia— Somewhere as remote as possible without going completely off the grid.”
With Taro able to continue his schooling, he had returned to university, much to his bemusement. At least there plenty of girls there, though. Miki was. . . Concerned about him, but was sure he’d be able to follow Akira’s example, or at least use knowing the icon of change to his advantage.
“Hey, Ume. . .” Sat on the empty train now, Akira stood and stared out the window, watching buildings fly by as the train sped along the rails. “If you don’t mind me asking. . . Whatever happened to that doctor— Jin or something?” It had seemed like forever ago, when it had only been a few months. Akira’s sense of time was slowly warping, now that things had calmed down.
Akira walked past Miki, giving her a small hug. He was dressed in something that Miki had personally picked out for him-- white suit pants, black shoes, and a black, collared shirt. She insisted that Akira had to 'look his best,' even if he had some objections about Miki dressing him.
In an effort to try and hide the markings on his face, Akira had worn a pair of sunglasses on their way to the Sector 1 train. But-- Sunglasses weren't his thing, and Akira quickly abandoned them in Ume's car. He wouldn't really miss them.
"Who are we meeting today?" Akira had. . . Forgotten just who he was meeting. He had tried to keep up with Ume, but she was much more attuned to this than he was. He was still the poster boy for this new change but. . . Akira didn't feel like one. He just did as Ume told him, and answered questions truthfully-- If he could.
❝ --- The markings on Akira's face had become more refined, almost to the point that they were almost perfect shapes running down his face. Immediately following the fight, Akira fell into another spell of anguish, remaining in his room-- Or sitting alone in the park. Wherever he was, he had remained silent, only speaking in one or two word sentences. Miki had done her best to comfort him, and from time to time, he seemed really appreciative of what she was doing. Still, Akira didn't seem at ease, and Miki wasn't sure he'd be able to return to who he once was.
Slowly, however, Akira had recovered. He was able to speak more at public talks, though he avoided any questions about Ryo. Things were looking up otherwise-- Like a resolution might be made, that the world might be saved.
"I am now." Akira said, smiling softly before carving off a large piece of the stack of pancakes before him, swallowing it whole with ease. His heartache hadn't quite affected his appetite. He wasn't really good at these sorts of things, which is why he usually let Ume take the lead.
"Ume called, she said she'll be here in a few minutes." She said, before walking behind Akira, arms wrapping around him and affectionately embracing him.